Thursday, November 25, 2010

Pierre Trudeau: "the style is in the man"

Grey Cup 1970

He was Canada's version of Paul McCartney, a man who with a flash of a smile and a wave, could have throngs of screaming nubile young women appear out of nowhere and give chase, if only to catch a glimpse of the prime minster, if not a picture and a kiss. 

All politicians have charisma, but his was a special kind. This broad appeal was matched only by his peerless attention to style and sartorial flair. He strolled the streets of Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon wearing a nautical top and a jaunty "necker-cheif". He ice skated in a full length fur coat. He showed up to the 1970 Grey Cup looking like he's just walked off the set of Super Fly. He wore loafers without socks and a rose in his lapel.

It was not just audacity either, he understood the meaning and the importance of the fit and a good cut of a suit. Unlike Paul Martin or Jean Chretien, please loved him, even though who thought Liberals were nothing but indecisive pansies.

He pissed people off and that was part of it. He word sandals and slid down banisters in parliaments because that as who he was. He smoked cigars with Fidel Castro and mixed with rock stars and gave protesters the finger. He dated celebrities because, well,  someone had to pick up where JFK left off.

Like Sinatra, Bowie, Versace and very few other icons of his time, he knew the one and only true rule of style: that it's not just about the clothes you wear, the high end watches hanging from your wrist or even the coin in your pocket. It's about the attitude. Pierre Elliott Trudeau had a lot of that. He was the man who made Canadian politics cool (if only for a moment).

4 comments:

The Clever Pup said...

And we'll never see his like again. Unfortunately.

The Clever Pup said...

Blanche, I like this so much I'm going to put a link to it on my site.
(But it's Paul Martin, not John)

Giulia said...

We so envied you, so many of us south of the Canadian border, for your stylish & cool PM. Thanks for reminding me.

amourissima said...

Hazel,
Thanks- you know, I thought John sounded funny! Thanks again!